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Summer squashed

'Bewitched' bump latest in sked changes

Like Disney’s upcoming Herbie the Love Bug pic, summer 2005 could be called Fully Loaded.

Beyond the traditionally sought-after release weekends, such as July 4, the entire summer is jam-packed with event films unspooling on top of one another, even as late as mid-August.

In response, studios are jostling madly for breathing room. Trouble is, there is none.

The most recent switch — though not likely to be the last — was Sony’s “Bewitched,” starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. Originally skedded for a July 8 release, this week the studio bumped the pic back to June 24.

Move comes a month after Twentieth Century Fox moved “The Fantastic Four” to July 8. That movie had previously been set to unspool over the Fourth of July weekend, along with Paramount and DreamWorks’ Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise collaboration “War of the Worlds.”

“War” now dominates the Fourth.

Yet moving “Bewitched” out of the way of “The Fantastic Four” hasn’t gotten the pic away from the heat.

June 24 releases include the tentpoles “Herbie: Fully Loaded” and Warner Bros.’ “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

Sony’s remake of “Fun With Dick and Jane,” starring Jim Carrey and Tea Leoni, had previously been on the June 24 date, but that pic has been pushed into the holidays and will unspool Dec. 21.

Sony vice-chair Jeff Blake said that moving “Bewitched” to June 24 factored into the decision to move “Fun.”

“We really had this move in mind when we had to move ‘Fun With Dick and Jane’ off, but we wanted to make sure we could do it.”

As for a face-off with “Fantastic Four,” he said, “There’s no question that it’s pretty tempting to stay on an open July date, but given the fact that that wasn’t to be, we dealt with the reality of what each date was.”

As for overall summer congestion, he said, “There really is no place you can go, no matter what you choose. It always seems like (a movie) can’t possibly fit, but somehow it always manages to. I think you certainly don’t want to be in there with anything that doesn’t jump out pretty quickly. But we think ‘Bewitched’ is something that will.”

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